Human Connection Goes A Long Way
One of the biggest detriments to email marketing is the lack of personification and connection between sender and recipient. And we get it. You don’t have time to email thousands of subscribers a personal message with your photo and Facebook invite.
That being said, you can’t ignore that the person checking their inbox is, in fact, a human, and they respond best when treated as a real person rather than a faceless subscriber. Many variables increase the personality of an email, but a surefire way to avoid sounding like a robot is perfecting your email copy.
First, evaluate the readability of your copy. Microsoft Office Outlook and Word users can use the built-in Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level tests to analyze readability. The tests will score your content on a scale of 0-100, with higher scores indicating readability to an 11-year-old, and lower scores for a college graduate. Finding something between 50 and 70 allows you to capture a greater audience.
However, it’s important to remember that simplifying text doesn’t mean dumbing things down and avoiding trickier subjects. Instead, it refers to accessibility of the text. You also can increase readability by mixing up sentence structure, using an active voice, and forgetting about the jargon that only you and your co-workers understand. The Hemingway App is the digital English teacher that will criticize your text for free.
Another way to treat your audience like humans is to use your emails as a teaching resource. Subscribers often feel bogged down by the weight of pushy campaigns beating the "buy this" drum over and over again. Even if all you care about is selling, treat your subscriber as someone who needs to learn about what, and why, you are selling. What don’t they know about your product? How can your product improve their day-to-day life? How will the product make them feel?
Email is a great opportunity to teach your subscribers why they need whatever you’re selling. Allowing them to come to their purchasing decision on their own gives them the flexibility to be themselves.
So start experimenting ways to make your emails sound more personal. Scroll through your inbox and dig up a few emails that really speak to you in particular (and maybe a few that don’t!) Every inbox belongs to a human; use your emails as a platform for interaction.